“You’re here as a prop. You’re functionally here as a prop because they can’t impeach Donald Trump”: Hand it to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for cutting to the heart of John Dean’s testimony Monday before the House Judiciary Committee.
Chairman Jerry Nadler has to put on a show of pursuing President Trump because the party’s left wing demands it. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi won’t let Nadler go to impeachment hearings because she knows the broader public will see it as a partisan outrage.
Pelosi’s bid to appease the extremists runs to quotes about how she wants to see Trump “in prison.” Nadler, meanwhile, must resort to, yes, props.
John Dean was President Richard Nixon’s loyal flunky until the Watergate prosecutors got the goods on him. He then flipped, testifying against other conspirators before heading off to prison for his own crimes.
Since getting out, he’s made a living playing moral paragon: Team Trump’s supposed evils are at least the third time he’s talked of a presidency being “worse than Watergate.”
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But he doesn’t actually know anything — he was just there to sound off and maybe get Nadler some headlines, a hit on the network evening news or at least a “Daily Show” clip.
Thing is, it’s not working: Even CNN didn’t carry the hearing live, because it can’t afford to bore its audience.
If Nadler wants to avoid a complete flop, he needs to get not just cynical, but creative. Maybe subpoena Monica Lewinsky?